How to buy a Bar or Kitchen Stool

January 30, 2014
How to buy a Bar or Kitchen Stool

In the market for a bar stool? Here’s what you should think about before making a decision.

Bar stools or counter stools are a popular and relaxed choice for the home. If you have a bench or counter that is just too tall for a chair, bar stools are the perfect compromise. Or if you want to have the option of some extra seating for the occasional big group of visitors, bar stools can be a great option as they can be discreetly stored when not in use.

These days you’re less likely to be looking for stools for an actual traditional ‘bar’ than you are to be shopping for the popular breakfast bar option or looking for the perfect stools to pair with a floating kitchen island.

Stools are generally either three or four legged or might have a retro-style single column with a gas lift mechanism- making the stool height adjustable. A wider stool, with a bigger base will be more stable- an important consideration if you have children who will want to play and climb on the stools. The frame of the stool should be wooden or metal- with both generally proving a good and durable option.

When you’re shopping for a bar stool, once you've decided on the height, also check the seat width and depth. Some bar stools have a footrest built in- whether you like this or not is a preference choice, and depends whether you find this comfortable. Ideally you should check both of these things out in person. And as always, make sure you have your measurements absolutely correct!

The upholstery of the stool need not necessarily be the deciding factor! Owing to the relatively small cushion size of a stool, it’s not a big deal nor should it be too expensive to have these reupholstered. If you’re going vintage, keep an eye on materials- retro stools (like those with a gas lift) tend to be covered in materials like vinyl which are not terribly comfortable in Summer.

Hunting for a bar stool? Take the guesswork out of buying, check out our Furniture Buying Guides. At House of Home we've got the best tips on how to buy bar stools for the kitchen, dining room or outside.

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